Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus (Malayalam)
Cast: Mammootty, Siddique, P. Balachandran, Honey Rose
Playing character after character cloaked in yards of goodness did not help a career graph that seemed to be spiralling downwards. So taking a chance and playing a baddie who eventually gets reformed, with a little help from God, seems wise.
And with the festive season on in God’s own country, director Marthandan’s Daivathinte Swantham Cleetus could provide that first tiny swing upward for actor Mammootty’s career graph.
Cleetus (Mammootty) is a small time goon who is roped in to play Jesus Christ in a Biblical light-and-sound show by a priest (Siddique). His serene look and quiet demeanour convince the priest and members of the troupe that he is the perfect person for the role. Only till Cleetus’ antecedents and unscrupulous character is revealed.
Set against the backdrop of theatre, the script by Benny P. Nayarambalam provides enough scope for some good laughs, though you’d end up wishing this were a complete laugh riot. The scriptwriter has also neatly cobbled up Biblical references with the storyline and there aren’t too many untidy patches showing.
Marthandan, who has been an associate director in the industry for more than a decade, makes a safe debut.Mammootty’s portrayal of Cleetus is refreshing and fun in turns. Siddique, Suraj Venjaramood, P. Balachandran, Aju Varghese, Honey Rose and Sanam Shetty do justice to their roles, but in the end, are only meant to be satellites revolving around the superstar.
Tracing Cleetus’ transformation from evil to good, the film is a watchable fare. Does it mean resurrection for the superstar? Only, almost.
The review was first published in The Hindu.